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Патент USA US3073951

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Jan. 15, 1963
Filed Aug. 7, 1961
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United States Patent 0 "p Ce
Patented Jan. 15, 1963
device and the installation of which is so simple as to
be easily carried out by inexperienced persons.
Frank S. Virga and Margaret J. Virga, both of
1113 Grevelia Stu, La Canada, Calif.
These and other more speci?c objects will appear upon
reading the following speci?cation and claims and upon
considering in connection therewith the attached drawing
to which they relate.
Referring now to the drawing in which a preferred
embodiment of the invention is illustrated.
Filed Aug. 7, 1961, Ser. No. 129,710 ‘
5 Claims. (U. 213-32)
The present invention relates to improvements in elec
FIGURE 1 is an elevational view from the interior
tric lighters for cigarettes and the like and more particu
of the room showing the preferred embodiment of the
larly to a unitary self-contained accessory especially
invention installed in the junction box;
designed and adapted to be installed within wall-mounted
FIGURE 2 is a vertical sectional view on an enlarged
conventional electrical outlet boxes.
scale taken generally along line 2—2 on FIGURE 1; and
Semi-automatic electric lighters have long been ex
FIGURE 3 is a transverse view on an enlarged scale
tremely popular among motorists and are commonly in 15 taken generally along line 3~—3 on FIGURE 1.
stalled as factory equipment on the dashboards of trucks
Referring more particularly to FIGURES 2 and 3,
and passenger cars. By the present invention, the great
there is shown a conventional junction box 10 rigidly sup
convenience and popularity of electrical lighters can now
ported in a wall opening 11 in conventional manner, as
be extended to the home and the o?ice. The unitary
by the bracket 12 and nail 13. 'In accordance with
accessory embodying the invention includes a special 20 standard practice, the open face 14 of the junction box
mounting member for the several components readily
is normally mounted ?ush with the interior surface of
attachable to the lugs of standard electrical junction boxes
the room wall 15. Electrical power is supplied to the
forming part of the wiring system of buildings.
electrical lighter per se is so positioned as to occupy the
interior of this junction box by electrical conductors 18,
19 housed within armored tubing 20 anchored to an
space customarily occupied by one of the standard out 25 opening 21 of the junction box, as by collar 22 and lock
lets of a twin outlet box, a compact outlet ?tting being
nut 23.
mounted in the other opening of the mounting strip.
The combined electrical outlet and electric lighter ac
Behind the referred to outlet ?tting and beside the socket
cessory forming the feature of this invention is designated
of the electrical lighter there is provided a compact step
generally 25 and includes, as its principal components,
down transformer for lowering the supply voltage em 30 an electric lighter 26, a step-down transformer 27 and
ployed to energize the heater coil to a safe value as well
an electrical outlet 28 for an extension cord. These com;
as to a value permitting the use of the standard economi
ponents are rigidly secured to a common mounting strip
cal heater coil. The described components are assembled
39 provided with openings at its opposite ends to receive
at the factory to the common mounting plate and in such
screws 31 mating with the threaded openings in the usual
manner that the entire assembly can be readily assembled 35 inturned tabs 32 integral with the opposite ends of the
into a junction box as a unit and secured in place by the
junction box.
usual mounting screws. A conventional cover or ?nish
Electric lighter 26 may be of any suitable construc
plate is then secured in place to conceal the junction box
tion, and includes as its two principal components the
and its contents.
socket-like cylindrical housing 34 and the removable plug
It will therefore be recognized that this invention pro 40 35 having a loose ?t with the interior of housing 34.
vides a very compact, inexpensive accessory featuring an
Rigidly secured to the inner end of housing 34 is a disc
electric lighter in combination with a female outlet for
37 of insulation‘ material supporting axially thereof a
an extension cord, the entire unit being readily connected
threaded terminal post 38. Nuts 39 on the outer end of
in circuit with the terminals of any standard junction box.
post 38 serve to connect this post to one end of the sec~
Accordingly, the unit can be installed by the novice 45 ond'ary coil of step-down transformer 27.
without need for special instructions to the end that the
convenience of the lighter and the standard outlet may
be enjoyed in each room of the home or office building.
Spot welded or otherwise intimately secured to the inner
end of terminal post 38 is a bimetallic thermostatic disc
42 having ?ngers 43 positioned to embrace and releas
ably seat the rounded peripheral edge of a shallow metallic
It is therefore unnecessary to have matches or lighting 50 @1544 housing the usual electrical heater e‘ement and
devices requiring frequent servicing and charging with
suitably insulated therefrom. The heater element is not
fuel, the expense, nuisance and well known disadvantages
shown in the drawing but comprises a coil of resistance
of each of these commonly employed cigarette lighting
wire having the side thereof facing thermostat'c disc 42
devices being entirely avoided and eliminated .by ‘the
expos'd. One end of the heater is connected with housing
present invention. Additionally, the dangers attendingv
44 whereas the other end leads through insulation mate
an open flame are entirely eliminated and there is no
rial of p‘ug 35 and into electrical contact with a metal
need for taking the precautions essential ‘when using
sleeve 46 seating against the outer end of socket hous
matches and open ?ames to light a cigarette.
ing 34.
Accordingly, it is a primary object of the present in
Attached to housing 34 is a terminal strip 48 to which
vention to provide an improved safety lighting device 60 the other lead wire 49 of the transformer se‘ondary is
for use in lighting cigarettes and other tobaccos and
connected. The main body of plug 35 as well as the knob
adapted to be energized from the common 110 volt power
50 desirably is of insulation material. Normally. the plug
supplies used in wiring buildings.
is resiliently and fricti~nally seated in housing 34 with
Another object of the invention is the provision of a
heater enclosure 44 closely spaced from the thermostat
compact, inexpensive, highly reliable electric lighter ac 65 ?ngers 43, this spacing being assured by a light coil spring
cessory constructed and arranged to be mounted within
52 having one end bearing against the plug 35 and the
and concealed by the junction box of the usual building
other end bearing against the inturned inner rim of a
lighting circuit.
metal sleeve 46.
Only the operatingknob for the ligther is exposed to view.
' Another object of the invention is the provision of a
To energize the heater, the operator merely presses
unitary accessory specially designed for mounting in elec 70 inwardly
on the outer end of knob 5i) until ?ngers 43 of
trical junction boxes and including provision for a stan
dard extension cord outlet in addition to an electric lighter
thermostatic member 42 are engaged over the rounded
rim of heater housing 44. In so doing, spring 52 is com
pressed and the outturned lip of sleeve 46 is forced into
?rm electrical contact with the outer end of housing 34.
A circuit through the electrical heater is thereby com
room Walls to energize said accessory, said accessory
pfeted causing the heater to become heated to a red heat.
This causes the thermostatic disc to bulge and move
?ngers 43 outwardly out of holding engagement with the
rim of housing 44 allowing spring 52 to snap the plug
being readily installable by the purchaser in the standard
electrical junction box of the electrical wiring for the
room upon removal of the customary junction box cover
plate, said accessory comprising a mounting frame having
opening means registerable with threaded openings of the
said standard electrical junction box, socket means sup
ported on and projecting rearwardly from said mounting
outwardly a short distance. The lighter is now in condi
frame, said socket having an open outer end lying gen
tion to light a cigarette, cigar or other tobacco, in the
customary manner, as the plug is removed and the hot 10 erally in the plane of the face of a junction box support
ing said mounting frame, a pair of electrical contacts in
heater is placed in contact with the tobacco to be lighted.
' It is pointed out that the electrical lighter 26 is mounted
sulated from one another and secured to the inner end of
said socket means, and means detachably insertable into
in the space customarily employed to support one of a pair
said socket having a handle at one end and a resistance
of twin electrical outlets 28. One only of these outlets
28 is shown mounted in one of the two main openings 15 heater at its inner end adapted to be connected across
through mounting strip 30. Outlet 28 is of compact de
said electrical terminals when said last-mentioned means
is fully inserted into said socket, said resistance heater
sign and is provided with a pair of terminal screws 54
being effective to ignite tobacco when heated and pressed
for connecting it in circuit with power supply wires 18
in contact with tobacco after being withdrawn from said
and 19 in conventional manner.
‘ .The portion of mounting strip 30 to the opposite sides 20 socket means, an appearance cover plate for the junction
box and the mounting frame of said accessory, said cover
of outlet 28 includes rearwardly extending mounting
plate including an opening through which said handle ex
brackets 55, 55 having inturned lips or tabs 56, 57 em
tends and fastener means for securing said cover plate
bracing core 58 of a step-down transformer 27, and serve
in place to conceal said mounting frame and junction box
to hold the latter rigidly assembled to strip 30. In ac
cordance with customary practice, terminals 59 of the 25 with its peripheral edges substantially flush with the ad
jacent surfaces of the room wall.
transformer primary are connected in circuit with power
2. A unitary cigarette lighting accessory designed for
supply conductors l8 and 19 and remain energized at
mounting in the wall of a room and utilizing electrical
all times. However, since the circuit through the second
ary is normally open, the only power consumed by the
transformer are the inconsequential no-load losses.
power from electrical wiring already installed in the
30 room walls to energize said accessory, said accessory
The described combination lighter and power outlet
‘accessory is readily mounted in junction box 10 by the
being readily installable by the purchaser in the standard
electrical junction box of the electrical wiring for the
home owner by removing the existing cover plate for the
room upon removal of the customary junction box cover
plate, said accessory comprising a rigid mounting stnp
‘whatever these may be. ‘Ihe installer then connects con 35 provided with means at its opposite ends to secure the
ductors 18 and 19 to a designated pair of the accessory
same to the threaded lugs provided on the walls of an
terminals. All other connections are completed and
electrical junction box close to the open face thereof,
socket means secured to a midportion of said mounting
checked as part of the manufacturing procedure. Once
strip with its open end substantially flush with the outer
the two connections have been made, the device is pressed
junction box and theexisting contents of the junction box,
into the junction box and mounting screws 31 are assem 40 side of said strip, a handle having a resistance heater
element supported on its end and ‘having a loose ?t with
bled into tabs 32, the unitary accessory being proportioned
to ?t readily and easily into standard junction boxes.
Thereafter, the exterior cover plate 60 is applied over the
the side Walls of said socket, thermally responsive clutch
means for holding said handle seated against the inner
open face of the junction box and secured in place by the
end-of said socket and including means for connecting
single assembly screw 62 mating with a threaded opening 45 said heater in an electrical circuit until said heater and
provided centrally of mounting strip 30.
thermal means becomes hot, said handle and hot heater
It will be recognized from the foregoing description that
then being freely removable from said socket means for
use in lighting tobacco held in contact with the hot
the described accessory may be installed in the junction
boxes of each room of the house without interfering with
heater, said accessory including an appearance cover
the normal use of the box to support the usual outlet'for 50 having an opening therethrough positioned to be aligned
service cords’ of other appliances. Alternatively, the
space occupied by outlet 28 may be used to mount a con
trol switch for room lights or other purposes.- In this
case, the internal connections of the accessory will be
modi?ed appropriately to maintain the primary of the
with the outer end of said socket means and through
which said resistance heater element can be inserted and
removed, said cover being installable against the exterior
face of said mounting strip to conceal the same and the
open face of the junction box, and fastener means for
holding said cover detachably secured to said acces
step-down transformer energized and in readiness to serve
the needs of electric lighter 26. It will be understood
sory with its peripheral edges held pressed against the
that the step-down transformer may reduce the voltage
room wall surf-aces adjacent the edges of the junction box
employed to energize the heater to any desired value.
when said accessory is assembled thereto.
3. An electric lighter device as de?ned in claim 2
However, a voltage of 10' or less is preferable to mini 60
mize the injury hazards if children or inexperienced per
characterized in the provision of a step-down transformer
rigidly attached to said mounting strip and arranged to
sons should place a ?nger in housing 34 when the lighter
plug is removed.
be inserted into and housed by an electric junction box
While the particular apparatus herein shown and dis
along with said socket means, said transformer having a
closed in detail is fully capable of attaining the objects
65 primary winding connectable to a source of power and a
and providing the advantages hereinbefore stated. it is to
secondary winding connected to terminal means on said
be understood that it is merely illustrative of the presently
preferred embodiments of the invention and that no limi
4. In combination, a unitary electric lighter accessory
tations are intended to the details of construction or de
adapted to be housed within a conventional electrical
sign herein shown other than as de?ned in the appended 70 junction box of the type mounted in the walls of rooms
and including as part thereof a female electrical ?tting
We claim:
for auxiliary electrical devices, said accessory compris~
1. A unitary cigarette lighting accessory designed for
ing a mounting strip adapted to have its ends secured to
mounting in the wall of a room and utilizing electrical
tabs on the end walls of the junction box, said strip hav
vpower from electrical wiring already installed in the 75 ing a pair of openings, an electric lighter mounted in one
of said openings, a female electrical outlet mounted in
the other of said openings, a step-down transformer se
cured to said mounting strip behind said female outlet,
said lighter device having a plug provided with a knob
on its outer end and carrying a heater on its inner end
adapted to be connected in circuit with the secondary of
said transformer when said plug is pressed inwardly to a
heater energizing position, a cover plate for said lighter
accessory having a pair of openings registering with the
cured in respective Ones of said openings, a step-down
transformer carried by said mounting strip laterally to
one side of said electric lighter having its terminals con
nected in circuit with the secondary of said transformer
‘but norm-ally out of energizing contact with an electric
heater mounted on the inner end of the removable plug
forming part of said lighter, a knob on the outer end of
said plug for depressing said plug into contact with said
electric terminals to energize said heater, and an ex
two openings of said mounting strip, and means for de 10 terior cover plate for said junction box having openings
tachably securing said cover plate in place over the out
in registry with said lighter and with said outlet, and
wardly facing side of said mounting strip after said ac
means for detachably securing said cover plate in place
cessory has been assembled into a junction box.
over the open face of said box.
5. In combination, electric junction box mounted in a
wall opening with the face of said box closely spaced to 15
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
the interior surface of the wall, said box being of the
type having lugs attached to its walls and formed with
screw receiving openings, a unitary electric lighter and
‘Smith _______________ __ Dec. 8, 1936
extension cord outlet accessory insertable through the
Busbin _____________ __ Dec. 4, 1956
open face of said box, said accessory having a rigid 20 2,773,164
mounting strip securable to said lugs by screws, said strip
having a pair of large area openings closely spaced to
one another, a female outlet and an electric lighter se
Taylor ______________ __ June 4, 1957
Mayzik _____________ __ Mar. 25, 1958
Fenn ________________ __ Aug. 9, 1960
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